The following is a summary of the key measures that were implemented by the Central Bank to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which address monetary policy and financial stability issues:
|- Reduction of the Repo Rate by 150 bps from 5.00% to 3.50% on March 17, 2020. As a result, the commercial banks median basic prime lending rate fell from 9.25% to 7.50% at the end of March 2020.
|- The Reserve Requirement Ratio for commercial banks was reduced from 17% to 14% in March 2020. Consequentially, average daily excess liquidity increased from $4.0bn (January 2 - March 17, 2020) to $8.3bn (May 2020).
|- The Central Bank extended a new moratorium on the regulatory treatment of past due facilities and restructured loans due to deferred payments or rate reductions for a five month period from May 1 to September 30, 2021. The Central Bank also issued an update DPC- 19 Form on June 1, 2021 to capture information on deferred payments.
|- The Financial Institutions (Capital Adequacy) Regulations 2020 for the implementation of Basel II/ III was promulgated with effect from May 14, 2020.
|- The Central Bank granted licensees and financial holding companies extension of timelines for regulatory returns for a period of three months commencing with regulatory returns due in March 2020 and this was extended up and including the regulatory returns due in December 2020. The Central Bank also allowed for the electronic submission of regulatory returns. Licensees and financial holding companies have returned to the regular timelines for submissions of regulatory returns effective January 2021.
|- To meet AML/CFT Identification and Verification Requirements the Central Bank asked financial institutions to consider several measures for acceptance of electronic or digital identification where a person’s identity cannot immediately be verified face-to-face during the COVID-19 period.
|- Adjustment to the requirement for the Submission of Personal Questionnaire Declaration (PQD) Applications in light of social distancing measures.
Click on the links below for more information on these highlighted measures.